Microsoft talks about new layout features in Word 2013

For the past few weeks, Microsoft has been offering some more information about Word 2013. The next version of the company's word processor, which is currently available in a free preview version, has a number of new features, including being able to edit PDF files and adding new options for touch-based hardware devices.

In the newest post on the official Word blog, Microsoft goes over some of the new ways that Word 2013 handles the layouts of documents. The new layout engine uses two separate features, Line Services and Page and Table Services. While these two features have been a part of previous versions of Word, Microsoft says, " ... They were never fully integrated into Word – we were able to use just a fraction of their goodness because we were working hard to maintain compatibility with the prior version."

This should allow for Word 2013 to have more accurate layouts of text documents. Microsoft states:

The end results are often subtle: text can be more evenly balanced across multiple columns, table cells can be more accurately auto-fit to their contents and figures’ positioning properties are more applied more faithfully.

Word 2013 should also allow for its users to try out some new design layouts. For example, it can now text around a figure in a header as shown in the image above. It also lets footnotes support a different number of columns compared to the main part of a Word document. Finally, Word 2013 documents can now be "bottomless" for putting in larger images.

What about opening up Word 2013 documents in older versions of Word and vice versa? Microsoft says that older Word documents will always be opened first in Word 2013's compatibility mode. Documents can be converted into the Word 2013 version but Microsoft does advise that the layout of the document might change.

Microsoft also says, " ... documents created in Word 2013 mode may lay out differently when opened in the prior version.  If you work in an enterprise where sharing documents across versions of Word is common, a group policy exists to force all new documents to be created in compatibility mode."

Source: Microsoft Word blog | Image via Microsoft

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9 Comments

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I don't see anything about Word adding a counterpart to WordPerfect's "reveal codes." That omission, plus the fact that layout attributes are placed at the end of the text, instead of the much more intuitive beginning of text prevents all but a few power users from doing anything but the most basic formatting in Word. Such a waste.

TsarNikky said,
I don't see anything about Word adding a counterpart to WordPerfect's "reveal codes." That omission, plus the fact that layout attributes are placed at the end of the text, instead of the much more intuitive beginning of text prevents all but a few power users from doing anything but the most basic formatting in Word. Such a waste.

Reveal codes have been a Word feature since the 90s. Word 6.0 had it if I remember correctly.

andrewbares said,
Microsoft has become an expert at writing long blog posts about the most insignificant features lol.

they are in fact more *significant* features for many ppl out there in corporate.

andrewbares said,
Microsoft has become an expert at writing long blog posts about the most insignificant features lol.

How are paragraph and text layout insignificant for a word processor ?
Maybe these features will never compete with those inside Adobe InDesign but these type of remarks coming from someone that do some basic games reviews on another blog are just trollish.

andrewbares said,
Microsoft has become an expert at writing long blog posts about the most insignificant features lol.

Well well, let me tell you something: All these "insignificant features" are usually overlooked.

For example:

How many people do not know that Word do an automatic Bibliography ?
How many people do not know that Word can do a Table of Contents?
How many people do not know that Word can index the whole document with little user input?
How many people do not know what are Macros or their utility?

I don't know you, but on the past 2 months I discovered what the last 3 features were, and I couldn't be happier and sad at the same time. If I knew about them before, I would have saved myself a HUGE AMOUNT OF TIME, and SCOLDS for doing things wrong and out of format.

So yeah... long posts about insignificant features can come pretty handy sometimes...

In addition, I forgot that Word can track your changes as it is an awesome tool to work with. (Yes I discovered this recently)

This is AMAZING, I do not need to worry to know which part was changed. Word will do that for me.

We use this Track Changes feature anytime we have an "Engineering Change Order". We have to keep track of what was changed, which makes it easier for people to review and approve.

Jose_49 said,

How many people do not know that Word can do a Table of Contents?

I absolutely love the way Word handles TOCs from version 2007 onwards. It is frickin' awesome.